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with high honours and given a sister of the Prince in
marriage. Being prevented from returning to Ardebil,
he lived at Shirwan, where he was killed in a local
skirmish. His son Haydar inherited the warlike spirit
of the Ak-Kuyunlu, and his uncle Uzun Hasan bestowed
on him his daughter by the Greek princess. She bore
him Sultan Ali, Ibrahim Mirza, and Shah Ismail. The last
named was the founder of the Safavi dynasty, which was
thus partly of Greek descent on the distaff side. Haydar
apparently attempted to avenge his father's death by an
assault on Shirwan, but he was slainl and his followers
were defeated. Yet in death be became more powerful
than during life ; for he was regarded as a martyr and
his tomb at Ardebil became a place of pilgrimage. Sultan
Ali succeeded his • father, but was seized by Yakub, the
reigning Ak-Kuyunlu Prince, and together with his two
brothers was thrown into prison at Istakhr. They escaped
from their confinement, but Sultan Ali was,;, killed and
Ibrahim Mirza died shortly afterwards in Gikn. Thus
Ismail remained the only survivor of his father's family.
Ismail, the Founder of the Dynasty, A.H. 905-930 (1499-
1524).—The strength of the Safavi family lay in Gilan.
Ismail collected a small force in this province and his
first enterprise was the capture of Baku and Shamakha in
Shirwan. His success aided him to increase his following
to 16,000 men, by whose aid he defeated Alamut or
Alwand, Prince of the Ak-Kuyunlu dynasty. He then
marched on Tabriz, which surrendered, and was proclaimed
Shah. In the following year Shah Ismail defeated and
killed Murad, brother of Alamut, in the neighbourhood of
Hamadan. Alamut was subsequently handed over to the
victor by treachery and was killed by the hands of Ismail,
who possibly thereby avenged his father's death.
Reference has been made more than once in this
history to the Persian love for the house of Ali as
expressed in Shia doctrines, and at last the national feeling
wras satisfied in the person of the monarch ; for he was
10 mere chieftain of a warlike tribe whose elevation to
1 Considerable divergence of opinion prevails as to how Haydar met his death
ndeed there is much obscurity as to events preceding the rise of Ismail.
VOL. II                                                                                         R